Sonic The Hedgehog's enduring appeal, Sparking up, and new music this week!


Are the Sonic the Hedgehog movies great? No. They're perfectly acceptable middling family entertainment with a few laughs. Still, compared to video game movies of the past, they're at least worthy of big screen success. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 takes a half-step down in quality from the original, but still has its moments. The introduction of Sonic's flying fox sidekick, Tails, is a welcome adorable addition, and Knuckles the red echidna (voiced by Edris Elba) is a fine foe, even if his potential as a Drax the Destroyer-esque comedic literalist isn't unlocked until way too late in the film. Any time the script veers into pop culture territory, things get cringe (dance battles and Limp Bizkit jokes in 2022?), but you can do worse if you're trying to distract the kiddos at the movies for a couple hours. (SETH SOMMERFELD)


It's been a while, but Sparks Weekend is back, April 29-May 1, at the Catalyst Building (above). Top local entrepreneurs will gather to judge the best startup ideas — like Spokane's very own Shark Tank. Chip Overstreet of Spiceology, a past winner, is among the judges. There's still time to join a team, but you can just come watch, too. Friday night is the rapid-fire, 60-second pitches; Sunday night is when finalists compete for a $50,000 kick-start investment. Sign up at (TED S. McGREGOR JR.)


Noteworthy new music arriving in stores and online April 29:

THE HEAD & THE HEART, EVERY SHADE OF BLUE. The Seattle folk-rock sextet are set to deliver more heartbreak via sweet harmonies.

MIRANDA LAMBERT, PALOMINO. One of country music's most reliable stars gets back on the horse for another round of dusty tunes about love, cowboy life and heartache.

TOMBERLIN, I DON'T KNOW WHO NEEDS TO HEAR THIS... If you've yet to check out one of the best singer/songwriters in modern folk music, then you are the one that needs to hear this. (SETH SOMMERFELD)

Get Lit! Festival Book Club @ Auntie's Bookstore

Last Sunday of every month, 6-7 p.m. Continues through March 27
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